Each spring, the air is filled with an intoxicating fragrance emanating from my Korean Spice Viburnum. With its unmistakable aroma, you cannot help but be drawn closer.
“Aurora” (Korean Spice Viburnum, Carlesi Compacta ‘Aurora’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/3.5, 1/160s, ISO 640
The individual flowers of the viburnum are tiny and for me, have always proved difficult to photograph. Since it’s only the buds that are pink, when they ‘pop’ all you can see from above are rounded clusters of white. But, by getting underneath, I was finally able to capture the whole story of these sweet little blossoms. Hooray!
Across the yard, putting on a show of its own, stands the giant pink powderpuff that is the ’Cornell Pink’ Manchurian Azalea. Now, while its ‘pinkness’ is indeed impressive (as seen here), I found this time I was more captivated by the flowers’ graceful stamens as they reached out with inviting gestures to all the insects and bees swarming around.
“Come to Me” (Pink Manchurian Azalea, ‘Cornell Pink’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/3.5, 1/640s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro “Expressive” Filter
So there they were, doing all the work but being overshadowed by the showiness of those fantastically colored petals. I thought by converting the image to black & white I was able to give the stamens some long overdue recognition. Don’t you agree?
After yesterday’s INSANE winds (that snapped one of our patio umbrella poles in half and the umbrella wasn’t even open!), it was so nice to have a calm, sunny, blue sky day today.
"Pink Sno-ball" (Azalea mucronulatum 'Cornell Pink', Pink Manchurian Azalea) Nikon D300, 105mm, F/7.1, 1/400s, -0.3EV, ISO 400
I was chasing the bumble bees (with my lens, thank you) that were madly scouring the Cornell Pink azalea but with only bee butts to show for my efforts, I turned my focus to the luscious pink blooms instead.
Upon seeing this shot on-screen, my first thought was of a favorite childhood treat – the Hostess Sno-ball! A creme-filled chocolate cake covered in marshmallow and smothered in pink-tinted coconut - yum!
The blossoms of ‘Sir Robert’ azalea demand respect. Oversized buds open to extraordinarily large and showy (and sometimes, even striped) flowers ranging in colors from blush pink to deep rose – all on the same plant!
“Pink-A-Boo!” (Robin Hill Hybrid Azalea ‘Sir Robert’) Nikon D300, 400mm, F/8, 1/200s, -0.7EV, ISO 400
Although many blossoms were damaged by the rain, this one flower tucked waaaaay underneath was intact. I actually didn’t think it was going to be a successful capture (I only took two shots), but I really ended up liking this sort of ‘bug’s eye’ view.
All that is needed is the hushed voice of an Australian narrator saying, “So, here we are…deep in the thicket…searching for the elusive ‘Sir Robert’ azalea…and, crikey! There he is!”